Did you know that a person will need to be reminded of your business 7 to 9 times before they decide to buy? Ways to remind people of your business are: mailings, emails, advertising in print media, seeing you in person at a business event or on TV. When marketing your small business it's easy to get caught up in designing the best promotional piece ever and then doing one huge mailing.
But focus on quantity as much as the quality of your marketing. Don't do just one huge mailing and hope for the best! Here are 4 tips to jazz up the quantity of your marketing:
- Commit to at least 4-7 mailings to your customers and prospects each year. People may not take the time to actually read the mailing but the piece of mail itself will remind them of you. To maximize the probability of your mailing being read you should hand write the envelope and keep the promotional material to one page. Or, to minimize your costs consider a postcard mailing with cheaper postage.
- Don't underestimate the power of advertising in the newspaper and local magazines. Just because you don't receive a bunch of new clients after these publications go out doesn't mean your ad isn't doing some good. Many magazines have a minimum number of ads that you must purchase in their publication because of this notion. You cannot quantify the "feel good" effect ads have on your existing clients. Your existing clients will see your ad and think, "I know her," and maybe refer you to a friend because you are at the top of their mind.
- Use email blasts and electronic newsletters. This is by far the least expensive form of marketing. My favorite guru on this subject is Alexandria Brown, also know as the eZine Queen. There are several web-based programs that enable you to send out 2500 emails for about $30 a month. Electronic newsletters are a great way to share useful (and free) information with your clients, which they appreciate. You don't have to try and sell something in every email. As a matter of fact, I don't recommend trying sell something in every email. Remember you just want a buyer to see you 7-9 times. Just make sure that the email addresses have been given to you voluntarily.
- Network everywhere. Become a walking billboard for your business. You can really do this without being obnoxious! Get involved in organizations that give you a chance to network. By getting involved I mean signing up for a committee and being a responsible member of the group! Don't expect business to fall into your lap just because you became a member of the local Chamber - you really have to get involved and be a contributor. This will get you and your business noticed. Tell your doctor about your business, tell the person at the dry cleaners, tell your waiter, tell the person cutting your hair, etc.